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Is It Legal to Watch Netflix Using a VPN?

Netflix has become extremely popular in the last decade. Many of us watch Netflix programs on a regular basis. Currently there’re more than 75 million people subscribed to Netflix’s service. However, recently Netflix announced that they would ban VPN usage for watching their programs, which has stirred a lot of discussions and many people are quite upset or even angry about this move.

Why does Netflix disallow VPN?

VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are technical ways to allow people add more security to their online activities. At the same time, a VPN can be used to disguise a user’s location. For example, if Joe is watching Netflix online from Paris, Netflix will know Joe is in France because his IP address is showing a France IP. As a result, Netflix will show Joe its French programs. However, if Joe is a VPN user and he first connects to his VPN provider’s VPN server located in San Francisco and then starts watching Netflix from Paris, Netflix might be fooled to think Joe is a U.S. watcher and then shows Joe its U.S. programs.

Actually many Netflix users around the world have been using VPN to watch Netflix programs. Until recently they have been OK doing this. Also, it’s been quite easy these days to sign up for a VPN service. A VPN provider usually has servers in many world-wide locations, for example, it’s quite easy to find a cheap VPN for Austria and a VPN for China. It's also has become quite common for VPN users to diguise their locations. For example, "VPN into China" is quite possible for users with a VPN account. Besides VPN, people have been using other techniques such as online proxy and smart DNS to bypass geo-targeting implemented by Netflix.

But this has changed. After announcing ban on VPN, Netflix started cracking down on VPN services. Recently a lot of world-wide Netflix subscribers found their VPN service no longer working for watching Netflix. They would see error messages such as “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.”

While many people are angry about this situation. It might be worth finding out whether it is legal to watch Netflix using a VPN service.

Is It Legal to Watch Netflix Using a VPN?

If you take a look at Netflix’s Terms of Use, you will find that it’s pretty clear that Netflix doesn’t want you to use things like VPN to bypass their geo-targeting:

You may view a movie or TV show through the Netflix service primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such movie or TV show. The content that may be available to watch will vary by geographic location. Netflix will use technologies to verify your geographic location.

If you consult a customer support representative from Netflix, asking about VPN usages, you might get answers like this:

VPN services are very useful, but because of the terms of use of the companies we buy our content from, we have to keep VPNs against our terms of use as well. However I have good news! Netflix is a worldwide company now as of about 3 months ago, and you have the abilitly to access Netflix almost anywhere without a VPN. The lists will vary a bit, but we are working hard to make one big global list. We allow you access to Netflix worldwide for the price of the account in your home country. No new rates will apply, simply log in and enjoy the different countries content lists.

Therefore, using VPN to watch Netflix is against Netflix’s Terms of Use. But whether watching Netflix using a VPN is legal or not is hard to determine. You might find people talking about copyright infringement etc. when discussing this topic, but it’s hard to find a firm answer for this question. While Netflix keeps blocking VPN usage, this question might be subjected to more and more debate. Let’s wait and see that people will say about this!

What Are Some VPNs That Works with Netflix?

Because Netflix doesn't like their users to use VPNs to bypass their geo-blocking, the company has been finding ways to prevent viewers from using VPNs to watch their shows. As a result, many VPNs don't work with Netflix at all. On the other hand, there are some VPN providers that have found ways to bypass Netflix's VPN blocking and allow their VPN users to watch Netflix using VPN.

Below are some VPNs that work well with Netflix:

1. ExpressVPN:

ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPN providers. It has VPN server locations in more than 90 countries. Therefore, its VPN users can choose different locations to connect to a VPN server to bypass Netflix's geo-blocking. ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee for users to try out their service for free. 

Visit ExpressVPN

2. NordVPN:

NordVPN is another well-known VPN provider that works with Netflix. NordVPN has VPN servers located in more than 60 countries, so there are a lot of locations to choose from when you want to connect to NordVPN to watch Netflix. NordVPN's speed and and performance is also very good. It also offers a 30-day money back guarantee for people to try out their VPN services for free.

Visit NordVPN

3. PureVPN

As a popular VPN company, PureVPN also work with Netflix. PureVPN offer VPN server locations in more than 140 countries. Therefore, there are many locations its users can choose from in order to watch Netflix. PureVPN's speed is also quite fast. It provides a 31-day money-back guarantee as free trial for its users. 

Visit PureVPN

Conclusion:

Many people has been using VPNs to watch Netflix in order to bypass Netflix's geo-blocking. Is watching Netflix with a VPN illegal? It's a hard question to answer, but clearly Netflix doesn't like its users to use VPN services. As a result, many VPN don't work with Netflix. There are some VPNs that work with Netflix. Hope this article is helpful to you!

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